Because this blog is part of the Youth Ministry of the Catholic Churches in Ville Platte, it IN NO WAY endorses any particular candidate. The purpose of this post is to remind Catholics that when they vote they need to do so with the mind of the Church. This means that – while many issues are important – some issues are of paramount importance. (See Part 1, and Part 2 of this series.)
In Part 1, I wrote that Catholics have an obligation to vote in accord with a well-formed conscience.
In this post, I want expand that by quoting from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) booklet on Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship:
- Conscience is the voice of God resounding in the human heart, revealing the truth to us and calling us to do what is good while shunning what is evil.
- The formation of conscience includes several elements. First, there is a desire to embrace goodness and truth. For Catholics, this begins with a willingness and openess to seek the truth and what is right by studying Sacred Scripture and the teaching of the Church… Catholics must also understand that if they fail to form their consciences they can make erroneous judgments.
- The Church’s teaching is clear that a good end does not justify an immoral means. … it is important to recognize tht not all possible courses of action are morally acceptable.
- There are some things that we must never do, as individuals or as a society, because they are always incompatible with love of God and neighbor. These are called “intrinsically evil” actions. They must always be rejected and opposed and must never be supported or condoned. A prime example is the intentional taking of innocent human life, as in abortion or euthanasia. … It is a mistake with grave moral consequences to treat the destruction of innocent human life merely as a matter of individual choice.
- Pope John Paul II explained the importance of being true to fundamental Church teachings:
- Above all, the common outcry, which is made justly on behalf of human rights – for example, the right to health, to home, to work, to family, to culture – is false and illusory if the right to life, the most basic and fundamental right and the condition for all other personal rights, is not defended with maximum determination.
- Catholic voters should use the framework of Catholic teaching to examine candidates’ positions on issues affecting human life and dignity as well as issues of justice and peace, and they should consider candidates’ integrity, philosophy, and performance.
- As Catholics, we are not single-issue voters. A candidate’s position on a single issue is not sufficient to guarantee a voter’s support. Yet a candidate’s position on a single issue that involves an intrinsic evil, such as support for legal abortion or the promotion of racism, may legitimately lead a voter to disqualify a candidate from receiving support.